time to check in on the gratitude meter

by WizardOfWords on January 22, 2013

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I recently met a fellow who is an expat Canadian now living in a climate that is warm and wonderful all year long. He couldn’t understand why I continue to live in Manitoba, where we have freezing cold (long) winters and mosquitoes in the (too-short) summers. On a week like this where the temperatures are staying steady around the -30 Celsius range and we have snow higher than our knees, I have to ask myself the same question.

gratitude for friends nothing is too difficult to bear with the comfort of friends around you

 

It all boils down to gratitude, and being grateful for the life you have, despite what others may think are shortcomings.

be grateful for the life you have

I wish I had the link to a blog post written by a fellow I’d encountered online. In it, he said how he had visited a place where the people lived primitively and at a slow pace. He couldn’t understand how they could be “happy” as they didn’t have the tech toys and amenities he deemed to be important. He was working hard and living life in the fast lane. Why? So he could retire, and unplug from the fast lane and simplify his life.  All of a sudden, he had an aha moment and realized that the fellow in the primitive culture was living the life that he was striving for!  A life with family around him, good food to eat, and time to enjoy it all.

So what am I grateful for on this day where the high temperature for the day is set for -20C, a low tonight of -29, with the windchill factored in, it will feel like -39C. when I opened my door this morning to retrieve the newspaper, it felt as though I was opening the door to a big walk-in freezer.

  • Well, I’m grateful that it isn’t colder! I remember being in Churchill, Manitoba (one of the farthest points north in our province) and it was -66 (with the windchill factored in) when we went dogsledding and -80 (with the windchill factored in) on the morning we were leaving. You can imagine I was happy to be returning to the “warmer” clime of Winnipeg.  :-)
  • I’m also grateful for the wonderful friends and family we have here in Manitoba. I have been blessed all my life with an abundance of warm and wonderful people in my life and that continues to this day. I am grateful for each and everyone of them.
  • I am grateful for the lovely home we have, and the love of my husband and cat. The three of us keep one another warm during these long winter months.
  • I’m grateful for having relatively good health and a healthy attitude.
  • I am grateful for the fact that I do get to escape the cold and head to warmer climates each winter. Last month I was able to enjoy some time in St. Lucia and the warmth of those memories will help get me through for awhile.
  • And I am grateful that I am now into the final stretch of the first edition of Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate and that the writing process is going relatively well. As I’ve written previously on this blog, I love the community we have built here and the great conversations we have, and find the process of writing a long manuscript to be a very difficult and lonely one.
  • So thanks for hanging in there with me. I am most grateful for that.
  • And may the chocolate gods forgive me for almost forgetting! I am indeed grateful for all the fabulous chocolate that has come into my life.  Chocolate makes everything better.

How about you? What are you most grateful for these days? Have you found yourself in the position of having to defend your life choices to others?

I look forward to the conversation, and ask you to return the week of February 4th for our next new post.

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